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The Journey of Joy!
Dance to the Center
Dance to the Center was actually created in three different layers, and it was the last piece to be finished. It seems that I sometimes have to "play out" a concept even though I know it isn't quite exactly what it should be and then patiently work with the music until new music emerges. After creating the music of JOY!, I threw away my original music for Dance to the Center and began to create the next level. I intoned the first notes on a flute that I had purchased near the great pyramid in Teotehuacan and layered the flute over a light drum beat created with the conga drum. I tried to add a piano track but that sound was too harsh. When it was changed to a piano/string sound, the music unfolded with a strong entrance, then became gentle with a beautiful melody line. Dance to the Center finally expresses the wonder and joy of moving to our heart and beginning a creative journey.
In the Presence
In the Presence describes my experience of being in silence in the presence of the Sacred. This piece was the second to be composed, and it went through many layers of editing. The music had to be warm, beautiful, light and joyful. The piano sound at the beginning was altered to create a special hybrid piano. The wood flute which holds the melody has a certain warmth for which I searched and finally found on the Kurzweil keyboard. The strings were modified to have a lightness and a warmth. In the Presence is written in b-minor . . . a gentle key.
The music of Journey was composed before any of the other music on this album. At the beginning of the process, this music did not have a name. However, I knew that it called for the Copan drum and the various ethnic instruments. The Copan drum is made from tree trunk and goat skin, so its sound on the drumhead varies. The different tones of this drum were perfect to create the music's supportive heartbeat. I added the maracas, rain stick, string and piano and thought that the music was complete. Several weeks later I realized that this was only the base. There was another part and it should be sung. Jennifer Patterson's warm, rich voice was the completion of this music. After composing Journey I understood that it describes the love which supports us when we accept the challenge to allow a new creation to flow through us. The music was then named Journey.
Dance of the Three Stone Place
I did not hear the syncopated piano part of Dance of the Three Stone Place until I was in the studio, ready to play. However, it was great fun to play this piano music and it flowed easily. Maracas, flute and strings were added, edited, then edited again. Finally Tom Tempel and I created the wind. This wind had to be just right . . . the wind which opens the portal of new creation . . . carrying the new creation out of the world. It is wonderful wind . . . created from something called pink noise. In the wind you will hear the call of the ancient flute, the rain stick, a low string and wind chimes. All of these introduce the syncopated dance of the piano and maracas.
Joy! is the anchoring music for this album. It is written in the key of D flat; a rich, warm, supportive key. I did not hear the music for Joy! until thirty minutes before I drove to the recording studio. Also, my creative muse suggested that I bring my conga drum. I have owned the conga since 1990, but had never used it for any of my music. Its light, joyful beat was perfect for Joy! Tom Tempel suggested we add a Guatemalan drum for additional color. The piano part emerged with vitality and liveliness and I discovered a flute sound which was light enough for this music. All of these layers of music came together to create a joy-filled dance; the celebration of our creative Journey of Joy!